Thursday, August 27, 2015

Pagosa Springs now, after Blue Mesa Reservoir

We left you sitting at a campground, Elk Creek, along the Blue Mesa Reservoir.  We had stayed there once before, and really enjoyed it.  Sites are huge with concrete pads, killer views, and 50 amp power only, no sewer or water.  The reservoir is full, this has been one of the wettest summers on record in Colorado, and it is really nice to see it full, in fact, the last time we were here it was so low we drove our Jeep out where the lake was supposed to be!
A view of the lake from our campground
We are running out of passes that we haven't done, but Jan git looking and we didn't think we had ever done the Cumberland Pass, 12,015', which goes from Ohio and Pitkin to Tincup.  I should probably say we are running out of passes that we haven't done THAT I WILL DO.  Scaredy pants Bill won't do ones that are terrifying:-)  Off we went, it turned out to be a great drive, Pitkin is a cute little town that was friendly and inviting, then up the mountain we go.
Start of the climb

Getting higher
It turned out to be a good road for me, tremendous views, but a few trees here and there to give me confidence.  The higher we went the more ATV's and dirt bikes we saw.
The view at the top, a little hazy due to smoke from many fires

The official top
We decided to have a picnic at the top, so we took the truck up to a little knoll above the pass, turned it around to block most of the wind, put on sweatshirts as it was only about 50 degrees, and had a great lunch with awesome views.

Good times!
Of course then you had to come down, a little more challenging for me, but turned out okay.
Nothing off that left side.
It got better and better as we made our way down to Tincup, we passed an scenic little falls.
Just gorgeous

And to prove Jan is here!
We did a couple other back country drives and then off to Pagosa Springs to the BEST campground of all, Cool Pines, to see our good friend's Harvey and Jan(Yaan), and the rest of our "western family", Ron and Jo, Buzz and Gay, Jack and Barb, Vince and Susie, Lynn and Diane,....
We arrived to a big welcome and lots of hugs!

Our drive down from Blue Mesa was on one of the most scenic roads, yes big enough for a motorhome, in Colorado in our estimation, Rte 149.  It cuts down through Lake City and Creede, Southfork, and over the Wolf Creek Pass, 10,856', into Pagosa Springs.  It also goes over Slumgullion Pass, 11,361', and Spring Creek Pass, 10,901', so it is not for the faint of heart.
Our lunch stop above Lake City
It was sad though, over and around Slumgullion Pass, the beetle infestation has absolutely destroyed square miles of pines, and they are clear cutting some of the dead trees in perhaps 200-400 yard swaths along the highway, just a shame.

So now we are in Pagosa having great time.
Downtown looking at the hot springs
And not just visiting, Jan and I went for a nice hike to Piedra Falls, one of our favorite short hikes in the area.

Off she goes

Piedra Falls
We have a couple more hikes to do, a few back country drives, several walks along the river walk path, lots of socializing, and a breakfast get-together before we head out to Durango.


Sandy Smith said...

The environmetalists won't let the owners of the timber spray for the Bark Beetles and the libs wont let the feds sell the standing timber or thin it so you have standing wood that is dangerous to harvest and good only to make preformed fireplace logs. Thanks Obama!

Bill said...

One more thing to be thankful for. It is truly devastating. I assume they are only clear cutting along the road for safety?

Sandy Smith said...

To keep from having to go back a move the ones that fall across the road.

Bill said...

Makes sense, thanks Sandy.